Environmental Civil Remedies

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Proximate Cause and Foreseeability Are Required Elements of Endangered Species Act Liability: Fifth Circuit Reverses Injunction...

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed an injunction that would have prohibited the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) from issuing new water withdrawal permits affecting an estuary where...more

Court of Appeal Upholds State Water Board Regulation Targeting Frost-Prevention Activities of Vineyards in Mendocino and Sonoma...

In Light v. State Water Resources Control Board (Opinion filed 6/16/2014), California’s First Appellate District upheld a State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) regulation that will potentially limit the amount of water...more

One Step Closer… Fifth Circuit Affirms BP Loss on CWA Liability Regarding Gulf Spill

The Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico occurred over four years ago, accompanied by numerous stories trumpeting the fact that BP would likely pay as much as $25 billion to the United States in civil penalties...more

Kids Get Their Day in Court on Climate Change

On June 11, the Oregon Court of Appeals held that two teens are entitled to a judicial declaration of whether there exists a “public trust” obligation in state officials to “protect the State’s atmosphere as well as the...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - June 2014

Environmental and Policy Focus: California is ahead of EPA on climate rules - Los Angeles Times - Jun 5: In 2006, when California adopted AB 32, its landmark global warming law, it acted virtually alone. Now, the state...more

Indiana Federal Court Reconsiders Prior Ruling and Dismisses Untimely Claims for Injunctive Relief Under the Clean Air Act

In United States v. United States Steel Corp., __F.Supp.2d__, 2014 WL 1577837 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 18, 2014), an Indiana district court judge granted the defendant’s motion for reconsideration, candidly admitted he was wrong the...more

North Dakota Court Dismisses Flaring Cases

You might recall that North Dakota achieved nationwide notoriety when photos of flaring Bakken wells visible from space circulated around the news. According to the U. S. Department of Energy...more

East Windsor Inland Wetland & Watercourse Agency, Et Al. v. Steven Dearborn, Et Al.

Memorandum of Decision

After about seven years of trying to get a landowner to comply with its zoning and wetland regulations, the Town of East Windsor looked to the courts for enforcement help. In a decision released on May 29th 2014 by Superior...more

US Appeals Court Lights A Match On Issue Of Government Reimbursement For WWII Aviation Gasoline Waste Disposal

Two weeks ago the United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit re-opened the door to recovery of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act ("CERCLA") cleanup costs under contractual provisions...more

Seventh Circuit Opens the Door for Judicial Review of Citizen Suits Challenging Completed Portions of Ongoing CERCLA Cleanups

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has opened the door for judicial review of CERCLA citizen suits challenging the completed portions of some cleanup actions even when cleanup at the site is ongoing. The case is Frey v....more

CT Law of the Land

AC35464 - Yorgensen v. Chapdelaine - In this new Appellate Court decision, the plaintiff was issued a building permit to construct a barn, but town officials thereafter also observed grading adjacent to the wetlands...more

Texas Supreme Court Issues Opinion with Implications for Power Purchase Agreements

The Texas Supreme Court recently issued an opinion with implications for negotiating terms in power purchase agreements in the renewable energy market. In FPL Energy LLC, et al. v. TXU Portfolio Management Co., LP, the Court...more

U.S. Fifth Circuit: The CWA and OPA Preempt State Law Claims for Pollution Incidents on the OCS

Offshore exploration in the Gulf of Mexico implicates maritime law, federal law, and the different laws of five coastal states. The manner in which these different substantive laws interact is often a critical, but unclear,...more

Update on 2013 Amendments to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act

In June 2013, the Governor of Oregon signed into law Senate Bill 814, which created sweeping reforms on environmental claims handling regulations and available remedies for insureds facing liability for cleanup of...more

California District Court Finds Biological Assessments Inconsistent And Enjoins Caltrans' Project

In Souza v. California Department of Transportation, No. 13-cv-04407 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2014), plaintiffs sought to enjoin a project proposed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to modify U.S. Route 199...more

Federal Court Rejects Homeowners’ Expert’s Valuation of Alleged Diminution in Value Due to Environmental Contamination

In a recent environmental contamination case, a New Jersey federal judge rejected an expert valuation of alleged diminution in value on Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993) grounds. In Leese, et al. v....more

Duped Subcontractor Can’t Recover From Landowner Payments Owed by General Contractor Under CERCLA

On March 18, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit resolved a dispute of apparent first impression regarding the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The...more

Prince Edward County Field Naturalists v. Ostrander Point GP Inc: Staying a Judgment Pending Appeal in the Environmental Context

In his March 25, 2014 decision in Prince Edward County Field Naturalists v. Ostrander Point GP Inc., Justice Blair of the Ontario Court of Appeal considered two aspects of appellate litigation in the environmental context. In...more

Texas Jury Awards $3 Million in Hydraulic Fracturing Lawsuit

A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded nearly $3 million on April 22, 2014, in a suit contending that Aruba Petroleum, Inc., as well as other operators and service providers, had caused “environmental contamination and...more

Offers of Judgment – Can They Shift Fees?

A recent Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) lawsuit may offer some additional guidance on when offers of judgment may cut off a party’s right to recover attorneys’ fees and costs under environmental laws....more

Is the NSR Enforcement Initiative Dead Yet? Injunctive Relief Claims Dismissed Against U.S. Steel

Last Friday, EPA lost another NSR enforcement case. Not only that, but this was a case EPA had previously won. As we noted last August, Chief Judge Philip Simon of the Northern District of Indiana, had previously ruled that...more

Is there a statute of limitation in government Clean Water Act Cases?

A Minnesota federal trial court recently ruled that the government can sue Clean Water Act violators even if the statute of limitations has expired. The decision opens the door for the Eighth Circuit to issue a definitive...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Complex Landfill Dispute

Can the Illinois state courts order mandatory cleanups of older landfills? The Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide that issue late last month, allowing a petition for leave to appeal in People ex rel. Madigan v. J. T....more

No Bull: Santa Cruz County Rodeo Qualifies for CEQA Exemption

In Citizens for Environmental Responsibility v. State of California ex rel. 14th District Agricultural Association, et al. (3rd App. Dist., March 26, 2014), the appellate court affirmed the trial court’s decision to exempt a...more

Property Reserve, Inc. v. Superior Court: California Property Owners Secure Victory in New Eminent Domain Opinion

In a victory for California property owners, the California Court of Appeal, on March 13, 2014, issued a new opinion holding that the State of California's proposed entry onto hundreds of properties in Northern California for...more

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